2018 Honda Accord better than ever

Honda has historically produced a great vehicle in the Accord, the benchmark for midsize sedans for many years.

Introduced in 1976, the Honda Accord arrived with very little fanfare – it was a modest two-door hatchback. Now in its 42th year of production, the Accord remains an icon among sedans. What’s not to like? Year after year the Accord features the same enviable qualities – reliability, safety, efficiency, style, and value oriented.

Gone are both the four-cylinder engine and the V6, giving way to a pair of turbocharged four cylinders that give the 2018 Honda Accord more performance and remain fuel efficient.

Accord’s running mate through much of this time frame has been the Toyota Camry, another acclaimed family-friendly midsize sedan. Despite their overall dominance, many rivals are pushing this pair. However, the two Japanese automotive superpowers still remain at the top.

The primary competition includes the Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Nissan Altima, Chevrolet Malibu and Ford Fusion. For 2017, the Camry landed in the No. 1 spot among car sales with 387,081. Residing one slot lower was the Accord with sales of 322,655. A rather distant third was the Altima (254,996).

And some bad news for competitors trying to gain ground is the 10th generation, 2018 Honda Accord is better than ever, thanks to a smart redesign, it’s first in five years. The result is a dynamic vehicle that’s new from the ground up.

Visually, the 2018 Accord sits slightly lower than previous models, yet is longer and has a wider wheel base. The sloping roof gives it a fastback profile, which is a deviation from its somewhat stodgy past. Some suggest the new Accord, that comes in five trim levels (LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, Touring) has a sporty, European look.

The other major departure this year is the engines. Gone are both the four-cylinder and the V6, giving way to a pair of turbocharged four cylinders that give the Accord more performance and remain fuel efficient.

The entry-level engine is a 1.5-liter turbo, inline-4 that generates 192 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. Depending on the model, it gets 26-35 mpg and Honda says it travels 0-60 mph in 7.7 seconds.

2018 Honda Accord

  • Performance: 1.5-liter, turbocharged four cylinder, 192 horsepower; 2.0-liter, turbocharged four cylinder, 252 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 26-35 mpg; 22-34 mpg
  • Price estimate: $24,600 to $36,800
  • Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 3 years/36,000; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited

We loved the upper-level engine that was test driven here, a 2.0-liter turbo, inline-4 that produces 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. It didn’t take long to grasp that this was a departure from past Accords in terms of power. According to Honda, this model (available in the EX-L, Sport, Touring) travels a very quick 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds. Gas mileage naturally isn’t as impressive, but 22-34 mpg is fine, considering the excellent performance.

We were also impressed with how the new Accord handled. The midsize sedan corners really well and gives the driver a definite feeling of confidence as it sticks to the road and supplies good braking power.

The Accord interior also has some notable changes. The new touchscreen is not a cinch to master, yet it’s easier than the previous model that had a touchpad interface and was frustratingly slow. Physical buttons and knobs are back, a preference here.

Front seat occupants will enjoy the room and comfort that’s provided, including solid back support and a well-placed headrest. In the back seat, the leg room is excellent, while the head room may not be pleasing for taller passengers due to the sloping roofline.

The cargo area is sizable at 16.7 cubic feet. The 60/40 rear seats naturally create a lot more storage room when folded down.

For overall value, the 2018 Honda Accord has only gotten better with the redesign. It still delivers reliability, performance, comfort, good gas mileage, and great resale capability.

Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at skiweidel@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel. His “Weidel on Wheels” auto reviews are featured periodically on this website at www.tahoeskiworld.com.

 

 

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